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Chinese officials’ chairs – £15,000 at Ramsay Cornish.

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They were provenanced ‘by repute’ from Rosehaugh House on the Black Isle. It was demolished in 1954 but it is tempting to think that the chairs were bought when owner James Fletcher and his architect William Flockhart were transforming the mansion into one of the grandest in Scotland.

The 3ft 4in (1.01m) tall chairs, probably made in padouk wood, each featured a stepped crest rail above a fret-carved splat centred by a panel carved with a mask.

Online bids from China and four rivals on the phone quickly eclipsed the £800-1200 estimate at the auction on February 22 and the chairs finally went to a UK dealer at £15,000.